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Tag:Marvin Lewis
Posted on: November 4, 2010 3:06 pm
Edited on: November 4, 2010 3:31 pm
 

Dey Took Er Jobs: We Talking About Stamina

Posted by Will Brinson

On Sunday, Mike Shanahan inexplicably pulled Donovan McNabb in favor of Rex Grossman. Were it not for Randy Moss and Brad Childress, that's all anyone would have talked about Monday and Tuesday.

To counter said distraction, Shanahan and the Redskins brought in Jamarcus Russell for a tryout.

As much as all of that reads like an Onion Sports story, it's the truth, folks -- and as such we have some sort of a quarterback controversy going down with the 4-4 Redskins.

Well, perhaps "controversy" is too strong a word. After all, Grossman isn't as good as McNabb, and Russell, who weighed in at 286 pounds, might have trouble making a Lingerie Football League team. (Actually, he might have an easier time getting on an NFL squad than that, but you see the point.)

The hemming and hawing of Shanny was the worst of it all -- he originally claimed that Grossman was better at running the two-minute offense (clearly a) a lie and b) patently wrong) and then decided that McNabb wasn't in good enough shape to stay on the field.

Regardless of why, Kyle Shanahan (yes, son of Mike) protege Grossman entered the game and immediately guaranteed the Lions a win with a fumble-turned-touchdown.

We understand now that there are locker room issues with Washington (I mean, duh, right?) thanks to Shanahan's decision, and that while he certainly doesn't have the problems of the aforementioned Childress, he's getting dangerously close to blowing up a Washington season that once had promise.

Will Grossman start for the Redskins the rest of the way home? We can only hope so -- after all, that means when the Vikings sign McNabb next year, Leslie Frazier will finally get the respect he deserves.

Whatever, that's a lot of projection, but is it really worth discussing whether or not Grossman should replace McNabb in the starting lineup? Of course it's not -- if the possibility of David Carr replacing Alex Smith in San Francisco a mind-boggling mishap of mediocrity (and it was, as I said and then we saw) then this is just a slap in the face to common sense.

Most coaches go out of their way to avoid quarterbacks controversies like these -- somehow, Mike Shanahan has managed to invite one, while also insulting his veteran leader and the only talented quarterback on the roster.

No amount of humiliation-based motivation is worth the obvious downside to this. And swapping out McNabb for Grossman at this stage would just be proof that Shanny had his brain surgically replaced with Dan Snyder's.

****


Speaking of the 49ers, Troy Smith did a pretty good job of making sure that David Carr won't be seeing the field as a starter (there are always injuries, and he'll seemingly always get a job based on just potential, sigh) any time soon.

But what happens when Alex Smith returns in a few weeks? At that point, Troy will have had multiple weeks with reps as the starter and possibly even more wins than Alex, in many less tries.

It's not like we're discussing someone off the street either -- Troy has the credentials to a degree (the Heisman Trophy has to be worth something, right???) and reasonable stats when he started. His accuracy isn't as good percentage wise as Alex, but he doesn't cough the ball up as much, and San Fran is very much a Frank Gore-based team.

Just saying we shouldn't be so quick to roll right back to Alex just because he was the top pick a few years ago.

****
Matt Moore and Derek Anderson will continue getting the nod -- both moves are the smart play, in reasonably similar situations -- both teams are equal at -65 in point differential, both have star wide receivers, both have a talented pair of running backs that are underperforming, both teams have rookie quarterbacks they believe to be the future, etc., etc. The only difference is that the Cardinals are in a crappy division. And given the way Jimmy Clausen and Max Hall have played, which is to say, "not good," it behooves both coaches to allow their youngsters to develop on the bench and learn while watching for a little while.

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Pants on Fire (Hot Seat Watch)

- Brad Childress: If I fired Andy right now, no one would notice or care, but the bosses would probably say "um, why did you do that without telling us?" and then fire me too. (Just kidding, I don't have hiring/firing power. And if anything, I'm the Randy Moss of the group. You should see what happens when my coffee isn't premium brand.) Thin ice for Chilly.

- John Fox: Someone asked Sean Payton if he would be willing to hire Fox as an assistant next year, even though Fox still has a job (technically). That's an indication of something, insomuch as 1-6 is at least.

- Wade Phillips: At some point, the awkwardness of Wade's eventual firing will wear off. Thank goodness he doesn't have a primetime game this week!

- Jack Del Rio: Betting against Del Rio when his job is on the line is like betting against Michael Jordan these days. Still, the Jags are going to be hard pressed to make the playoffs in that division with that talent and you have to think Wayne Weaver will at least explore something new once the CBA gets sorted out.

- Mike Singletary: The bright side of eventually losing the NFC West race to the Seahawks and Rams is that he'll be immediately employed as a six figure motivational speaker.

- Marvin Lewis: No one's really talking about Lewis' job being in jeopardy because it's too easy to place blame on Carson Palmer for stinking. But there's a lot of talent on this team and they're underachieving badly.

- Josh McDaniels: The biggest problem for Pat Bowlen is that admitting he messed up with McDaniels is about as fun as Mike Shanahan admitting he messed up with Grossman. Which is like full circle or something, man.

- Norv Turner: A win against the Texans on the road would go a long way towards keeping Norvell safe, particularly with divisional games coming up and Vincent Jackson returning. He should also give Philip Rivers 10 percent of his paycheck for winning games with a receiving corps only outflanked in mediocrity by the Bolts' special teams.

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Posted on: October 12, 2010 8:42 am
 

Cincinnati police apologizes to Adam Jones

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

After an embarrassing display by the Cincinnati Police Department – which arrested Adam Jones of the Bengals a few hours after their loss to the Buccaneers, because some other Adam Jones had an arrest warrant – police chief Tom Streicher apologized to Jones (the Pacman one) on Monday.

“Quite honestly there was a mistake on the part of the police department here,” Streicher said at an impromptu news conference. “I just want to be emphatic about this – Mr. Jones did absolutely nothing wrong.”

Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer talked to Thomas Hunter, Jones’ agent, Monday night, and he said Jones had accepted Streicher’s apology. Earlier there had been a thought that Jones might take legal action against the CPD.

Here’s how the scenario began. From the Enquirer:

According to Streicher, Police Officer Amy Moore was directing traffic at 2nd and Main streets when she heard tires squealing behind her. She turned to find a 2010 Jaguar on the sidewalk and people scrambling away from the vehicle.

Police Officer Barbara Maleski, who was one of the officers called to the scene, asked Jones for ID. Both did not recognize him as a professional athlete but eventually learned this from Jones’ passenger, Streicher said.

The police chief downplayed the Maleski’s own narrative of the event, where she described Jones as “immediately belligerent and combative.” According to Hunter, Jones cooperated with police.

“I would be upset if I were detained for 45 minutes and I haven’t done anything wrong,” Streicher said. “There’s no indication he resisted (officers). Was he upset? Probably. Let’s face it, the game yesterday probably had a lot of ‘em frustrated.”


Jones handed the police a Georgia’s drivers license – he makes his fulltime home in Atlanta – and somebody in the police’s communication department mistakenly thought Jones had an arrest warrant in his name (you know, with a name like Adam Jones, perhaps somebody should have double-checked this information. It’s not like his name was Josh Katzowitz). At that point, the officers handcuffed Jones and sat him on the sidewalk.

The crowd began to recognize him, so Jones asked to be moved. The police drove him two blocks away, and after realizing their mistake, they let him free. Hey, no harm, no foul, buddy.

“There’s nothing here to indicate there’s any malice here in anyone’s heart,” Streicher said.

Perhaps not, but that’s not an excuse for incompetence.

Of course, Marvin Lewis had this to say at his Monday presser: “He’s disappointed that he would be put in that kind of light and that’s the end of the story. It’s unfortunate it occurred. There’s nothing to it so people that made a story out of it shame on them.”

The problem with that line of reasoning is that Jones has quite a reputation for getting in trouble with the law. Therefore, it’s reasonable that if you see Jones in handcuffs and you pop a picture or two, it’s not out of the question for somebody to run with it. It’s not “shame on them.” It’s called “that’s what happens when you have a crappy reputation.”

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Posted on: October 9, 2010 5:57 pm
 

Could a collusion case be forthcoming?

K. Mawae said the NFLPA has been researching to see if a collusion case can be made (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The NFL Players Association is possibly readying a collusion case against the NFL owners, according to the Washington Post, and sources tell the paper the case could be filed in the next month.

“The players continue to gather evidence on possible collusion," George Atallah, the union’s assistant executive director of external affairs, told the paper Friday.

On Saturday, USA Today spoke to NFLPA president Kevin Mawae, who said he didn’t know about a possible collusion case. But he also said the union has discovered some interesting nuggets about the owners’ spending habits on free agents.

"It (collusion) is something we have talked about," Mawae told USA Today. "We have been looking at spending habits this year to see if there is an overall (blueprint). What we're finding is that teams are spending a lot less now than what they have in the past — even with the cap.

That includes smaller contract offers to restricted free agents – and a decreased level of activity overall in the free agent market.

From the Post:

The union's prospective collusion case also could cite trades between the Washington  Redskins and St. Louis Rams and public comments made by Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, according to one individual.

The case would question, this person said, whether the Redskins and Rams made two trades before the season to avoid releasing rookies that they'd drafted and circumvent a rule requiring a team to allocate 85 percent of the $320,000 rookie minimum salary to other rookies on its roster if it releases a drafted rookie.


On a conference call with the Tampa Bay media this week, Lewis talked about his dismay that the Buccaneers signed Bengals draftee Dezmon Briscoe – a WR the Bengals definitely wanted to sign to the practice squad – to the Tampa Bay practice squad and gave him a $325,000 rookie minimum contract (rather than the approximately $90,000 most practice squaders make).

"When you overpay a guy on the practice squad, you create a problem for teams,” Lewis was quoted as saying. “I don't know that teams want to set that precedent and they did with Dez.

"That's not a great precedent for teams to set as we try to keep the NFL and doing the things we're trying to do as a league. It's still a league of 32 teams and things are put together a certain way."

We’ll continue to monitor this story. A collusion case would certainly make for some interesting copy.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: October 9, 2010 10:06 am
Edited on: October 9, 2010 10:06 am
 

Marvin Lewis' future is unknown

Marvin Lewis is in the final year of his five-year contract, and his future is unknown at this point (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

It seems likely that most of the Bengals would want to keep playing for coach Marvin Lewis. So, when QB Carson Palmer tells Yahoo! Sports, “He’s done so much to change the atmosphere around here, and we really value him as a coach. I’m not really thinking about Marvin’s contract situation – I’m pretty much just focused on football – but it would be great if they got something done,” that’s what you’d expect him or any of his teammates to say.

Say what you will about Lewis, but his players, for the most part, like him very much.

Lewis is in the final year of his five-year contract with the team. He’s been with the Bengals since 2003, and entering Sunday’s game, he’s led them to a 58-57 record and two AFC North division titles.

But, according to Michael Silver of Y! Sports, Lewis and owner Mike Brown have not engaged in any serious contract extension talks.

You might wonder why, but if you think about it, this scenario is not that outlandish for a couple different reasons.

1) Lewis might not want to stay. The Bengals organization, while sometimes it makes horrendous personnel decisions (for example, giving tons of money to non-factors like Antonio Bryant), is not an especially generous organization.

Brown refuses to build a practice bubble (Cincinnati is the northern-most team without such a building), and during November and December, where it gets cold outside in Cincinnati, the team often has to bus 30-45 minutes into the suburbs to practice at an indoor soccer complex. Considering the Bengals have a sweetheart deal from Hamilton County on Paul Brown Stadium, one could consider this football owner malpractice.

2) Brown might have too much power. He’s the owner, so technically this is allowed. But Brown also refuses to hire a general manager – he actually pays himself a GM bonus – and he makes many of the personnel decisions. While his father, Paul Brown, was a legendary coach and owner, the Bengals have made only two playoff appearances since Paul Brown died in 1991. What does that tell you?

Plus, Brown has very publically overruled his coach. Again, he’s the owner, so he can do what he wants. But when Brown brought back the late Chris Henry in 2008, Lewis already had objected to the move. Brown did it anyway, emasculating Lewis to the locker room.

3) Lewis is popular with the players, but overall, his tenure has been only moderately successful (if you compare him with the Bengals coaches that came before him, though, Lewis has been like Vince Lombardi). While Brown is unfailingly loyal to his coaches – he’s let the worst of the worst coach out their contracts – he might feel he can do better than Lewis if he has to pay somebody $4-5 million a year. If Lewis walks – and he very well could – the Bengals have one of the most-respected up-and-coming assistant coaches in the league in defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer.

Chances of Lewis staying at this point (in my mind): 50-50, maybe 60-40 that he stays.

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Posted on: October 6, 2010 4:26 pm
 

Hot Routes 10.5.10: No Randy Moss here



Posted by Andy Benoit and Josh Katzowitz

- Bengals coach Marvin Lewis isn’t a big fan of the fact that Tampa Bay is paying Cincinnati draftee Dezmon Briscoe the league minimum of $325,000 when practice squad players usually make about $90,000 a year.

- Nobody seems to be sure what’s going on with Matthew Stafford’s throwing shoulder. Great news for Shaun Hill.

- One Carolina writer is calling for the Panthers to get electrifying (or, at this point, potentially electrifying) rookie Armanti Edwards on the field.

- Not a bad Q and A from Indy Star readers. One asked why we haven’t seen more of Colts first-round rookie Jerry Hughes (this link was actually found because Andy was Googling that very question). Another asked – and it’s shocking this question actually made it into the article – why Josh Scobee was not flagged for removing his helmet after his 59-yard field goal. Real quick: the Hughes answer – he’s coming along slowly and still transitioning to the NFL. The Scobee answer – the game clock had expired (which is why the question about his helmet removal is completely ridiculous).

- Aaron Rodgers was voted as the new Player Rep for the Green Bay Packers. It is unknown how much the quarterback spent on his campaign.

- Beanie Wells is not happy with his role in Arizona. On Monday he vowed to meet with Ken Whisenhunt.

- Ravens waive Prince Miller. Noteworthy because, hey, who knew the Ravens had a guy on the roster named Prince?

- Here’s one way to fight an inevitable blackout. O.J. Atogwe is from Windsor, MI, which makes the Rams at Lions game somewhat of a homecoming for him. Atogwe purchased 60 tickets for the game.

- Mike Shanahan said something nice about Albert Haynesworth. Seriously.

-There is talk about the barfing rookie Joe McKnight being a two-way player for the Jets. That’s a considerable promotion from his current zero-way player role. Apparently, McKnight has been impressive as a scout team corner.

- Ray Edwards is always calling out the NFL, it seems. And, unfortunately for the NFL, Edwards seems to be a pretty smart guy.

- Like the Jets, the Packers also have a get safe home emergency plan. It’s a good bet Braylon Edwards wouldn’t use either service

- A couple of wins have quickly changed the atmosphere in St. Louis

- Willis McGahee is romantically linked to reality TV star Kandi Burruss of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta”. We have our own Josh Katzowitz, an Atlanta-area resident as of August, investigating.

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Posted on: September 30, 2010 12:13 am
 

Drama brewing for Bengals?

Posted by Andy Benoit

Everything is fine with the Bengals. Really. The team is 2-1 and has already defeated division rival Baltimore once.

But we’re the media. It’s our job to stir the pot under the well-respected cloak of journalism (and, if need be, under the even more-respected cloak of free speech). It’s all about drama. That’s why we can write articles about a 2-1 facing possible turmoil. Head coach Marvin Lewis seems to understand this concept (understand as in, he’s aware that the media operates like this, not understand as in, he’s cool with it).
C. Benson (US Presswire)
"Not too many teams have to make excuses for winning like that, but I guess we do," Lewis said after Cincy’s 20-7 win over Carolina. "So we'll just move forward and I'll say little, our players will say less, and that's the way it will be."

Players will say less? That might seem laughable for a team in which both starting receivers have their own reality shows. But one of those receivers seems to be on board (sort of).

"I usually start the trash talking but the offense has been really stagnant,” said Chad Ochocinco, according to Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “So I have to back off of that a little bit until we pick up to where we're supposed to be in and do some of the things that's expected of us offensively. It's me. No, I'm serious, everything is me. A lot of media from outside is pointing the finger. When things don't go right with us offensively, it's on me. It's my fault when everything goes wrong. I like the pressure."

Only Ochocinco could announce that he’s saying nothing and, in that same breathe, suggest that he’s the key to the offense (which, granted, is not entirely untrue).

If there is to be a distraction in 2010, everyone expects it will come from either Ochocinco or Terrell Owens demanding the ball. But don’t rule out running back Cedric Benson. The refreshingly-honest Benson said last week on Sirius Radio, per Pro Football Talk, "With all those players and names you brought up [Terrell Owens, Jordan Shipley, Jermaine Gresham, etc] they're all, except for one, directly involved in the passing game. So, I mean, if I had to guess, it seems that that's kind of the route that we're trying to go, which can be a bit frustrating because we were successful running the football last year and being a power team.

"Being that type of team got us where we ultimately wanted to be, which was in the playoffs. I don't know what would be the reason the team would want to change their identity, unless in the past season it didn't work. But that's not the case here. And, I mean, I don't know. I guess whoever's making those shots, or calling those shots, you got to kind of roll with the punches."

Benson, coming off a 1,200-yard campaign, is in the final year of his contract. He’ll turn 28 in late December, which means 2011 will be his last chance at a big NFL payday. It makes perfect sense that he’d prefer a ground-oriented attack this season.

Who knows, if Carson Palmer keeps completing well under 60 percent of his passes, perhaps Benson will get his wish. (By the way…did we just accidentally touch on what might be a real problem in Cincinnati?).

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Posted on: September 20, 2010 4:59 pm
 

Gregg Doyel talks Bengals-Ravens

Posted by Will Brinson

The Bengals and Ravens played a not-so-exciting (but kind of typical for the AFC North) game on Sunday. CBSSports.com's Gregg Doyel was on-hand, and as such, we thought we'd one of our two (love you too, Freeman) national columnists on the phone to talk about what he saw.

Also, we figured there was a decent chance that he'd say something that would make people mad. Like, perhaps, calling Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco "clowns" or Marvin Lewis "not a real man." We're not saying whether or not those things actually happened, so you'll need to listen to the podcast yourself in order to find out.

Plus, if you're confused as to why Ray Rice only got 16 carries and why Joe Flacco stinks right now, there are answers for those.

Listen below and don't forget to subscribe via iTunes .

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download .


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Posted on: September 19, 2010 3:15 pm
 

Esiason rips Marvin Lewis' influence on Chad, TO

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Count CBS analyst Boomer Esiason as somebody who doesn’t think much of Bengals coach Marvin Lewis’ influence on his two star receivers.

A week after Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens left the field before the first half was complete – and then didn’t give a clear explanation as to what happened – Esiason said Lewis doesn’t have the receivers’ respect.

“He's obviously not in control of these two guys because a lack of respect shown by T.O. and Ochocinco going into that locker room,” Esiason said during the CBS’ NFL Today. “I would have told them stay there.  Go do your tweeting and reality shows and we'll see you after the game.”

Esiason makes a good point. Owens and Ochocinco have become known for starring in offseason reality shows – and, in Ochocinco’s case, for tweeting during games – and neither have been effective on the field this year. Midway through the third quarter of the Bengals-Ravens game today, the two have combined to catch four passes for 56 yards.

It should be noted that Ochocinco left the field early again before halftime today. Presumably, he was getting IVs for cramping – a typical Ochocinco problem.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com